After school this morning, we discussed “the plan” for the rest of the day. Long story short, everyone wanted to go to the beach on this beautiful warm day. We got ready, picked up our favorite sandwiches from the Publix (grocery store) deli, and headed for a lovely public beach on North Hutchison Island.
Z and J met two sisters from Pennsylvania who are the same ages they are. It was “friend at first sight”! They all had boogie boards, and soon they were all riding the waves off a sandbar at low tide! J is on the white board and Z is on the yellow board. I think the photo of the four girls with the sand castle and the ocean really tells the story.
After we cleaned up from the beach, we ordered a pizza, and went to see Dave. He was especially glad to see the pizza! (We cook and eat a lot on the boat, but today did not allow time for that!).
Sarah took the clippers and cut Dave’s hair out on the patio. That made us remember the time in Finike, Turkey, in 2005, when I was cutting Dave’s hair with scissors and a comb on shore. Two young men walked by, paused, then came back to tell us that they were both barbers and I was doing a poor job on the haircut. They took the scissors and comb from me and proceeded to cut Dave’s hair! It was a good haircut!
The sunny weather has.returned with a flourish! That is A dock going east before it turns north. I was standing in the plaza where the palm trees are located. I really like reflection photos...the clouds, are pretty fantastic, too!
Y’all can see the cutting continues on the fish for our bow graphics. This time Z is helping out. We went from planning to put 6 fish on the outside of each bow to thinking we would like 6 fish on the inside of each bow, too. We ordered more rolls of vinyl! We are going for it!
Dave saw the doctor today. They took an x-ray. Dave did not see the x-ray, but they said the crack is aligned like it should be. It is too early to actually see healing. The report was as good as it could be at this time. Dave’s next doctor’s appointment is in four weeks. So far, so good! P.S. Dave did get a Wendy’s Baconator sandwich and a Frosty!
One of our favorite things about walking on the A dock (we walk on it to get to the marina building and and the downtown area) is looking to see what birds are hanging out near or on the dock. Most of the birds seem to be territorial and go to the same areas again and again. All of them used to fly away whenever we sort of came near them. Now, they seem to recognize us and do not move when we go by. The snowy egret did fly from the dock when I moved directly toward him and “invaded” his space. The green heron was resting on the boat behind us at the dock.Both of these birds like to balance like an acrobat on the dock lines leading to the boats and “go fishing”. They wait for their meal to swim under the dock line and quickly dart their head into the water to swallow their food.
In the afternoon, we ran errands in Vero Beach (20-25 minutes north of Ft. Pierce). Right there in the parking lot, two sand cranes were walking around the vehicles.
Dave is doing well. He is in his fourth week of non-weight bearing on his left leg/hip. He has an appointment with the orthopedic doctor tomorrow. Dito is going to pick him up and take him to the doctor. Something tells me there may be a carry out lunch or some ice cream that just happens to be located on the way back from seeing the doctor!
Here is the sunrise I saw this morning as I walked along on A dock up to the marina building about 0710 (7:10 a.m.). I thought the clouds looked like a giant seashell that opened to show the rising sun, looking like a “pearl” inside the “shell”.
The second photo was taken later In the afternoon when part of the crew went for a ride through the marina in the dinghy.
The last picture shows the portable IKEA swing, called a “Gung Gung”. Dito and Sarah brought it to the boat from Kentucky. Dito secured the ends of the swing to one of the halyards (a rope used for raising and lowering a sail). The kids had a lot of fun taking turns riding in the swing!
Dave was back to his physical and occupational therapy schedule today. We were able to visit with him outside again, so we all enjoyed that.
It all started out with the idea of taking a donut to Dave...and we did that. We made the drive to Dixie Cream Donuts to our favorite donut bakery. We all went in to see what kinds of donuts were still left on the shelves. The bakery is open from 5:00 a.m. in the morning to 2:00 p.m. in the afternoon. Since it was after 10:00 a.m., the morning rush had come and gone...carrying out many, many donuts. There were many empty trays, but still enough donuts left to give us a good choice. We all picked one to eat when Dave ate his! These are some of the best donuts we have ever eaten! When we got to the physical therapy center, it was sunny and we were able to sit outside and enjoy our donuts.
In the afternoon, Dito, Sarah, Z, and J took the dinghy out for a run around the marina. It is always good to regularly use the engine and make sure it is running well. Because the day was sunny and the sky was blue, there were many boats coming and going in and out of the marina all day long.
Dave did not have physical therapy today, so we took turns visiting him and he ended up having some of us visit in the morning and others visiting him in the afternoon. That helped his day pass quickly.
In the evening, Dito found the Super Bowl football game being streamed online, so we watched that in the evening. We are not big football fans during the regular season, but it is always fun to watch the big bowl games.
Every Saturday is Market Day in the plaza (right by the marina) in downtown Ft. Pierce. I have showed photos of the market before, but today I was inspired to take more photos. There was a large crowd and every booth seemed to be busy, the band was playing, and a few people were dancing to the live music. The people were smiling and talking. It seemed like the sunshine (after all that rain) was calling to everyone to come outside...and they came...and they were happy to be there! You can see the beautiful French breads and the local citrus fruits that were for sale.
The third photo shows everyone (...even me! I am reflected in the glass door!) on the outdoor patio at the rehabilitation center. Now that Dave has a roommate who is not well, we do not go to the room to visit. This was the first time Dave had been outdoors in seven days due to all the rain that fell between then and now.
What? Already? For sure? Today was our official 100th Day of School?
At first, celebrating with 100’s sounded great to the kids...100 Cheerios for breakfast...100 fish crackers for snack...100 M&Ms (y’all remember Vitamin M?)...but, reality soon set in...100 pieces of fruit salad...100 grilled cheese sandwiches...well, you can see this could quickly get out of hand!
A vote was taken and it was unanimous...Mini Sonic Blasts won! That is SIX Mini Blasts (not 100!). We bought them, then drove to see Dave so we could all celebrate together!
I really do not want to tell about the north wind again, the rain, and the layers of clothing we are wearing, but...this was another “one of those days”.
I had a change of perspective as I read on internet about those impossible-to-believe temperatures that people up north are having to contend with. Compared to their weather, ours is “almost balmy”!
We visited Dave today at the usual time and found him in the physical therapy room doing his exercises. He was using a 6 pound bar and doing 300 reps. The therapist said less weight with more reps was better for him than more weight and less reps. The kids got in on the action, too.
Dave got a roommate today, so we sat in the empty dining room to visit. J was reading her books from school this morning to Baba. You can see into the physical therapy room in the background. Dave is certainly feeling stronger in his upper body. He is not in any pain. His main job is to heal right now. The next big step will be weight bearing on his injured hip/leg.
After we finished school this morning, Sarah, Z, and J went to the library for story time.
The first photo shows Dito out in the cockpit typing while we did school in the salon. He is writing a book...fantasy genre. Y’all can see he was challenged by the north wind. It was chilly out there. He agreed to help me get the laundry up to the marina building (after I pointed out it was much warmer up there in the laundry room).
The second photo shows what I saw when I went outside the laundry and tried to take a photo looking in the window. The window is coated and reflects the sunlight and the scenery.
The third photo shows Dave demonstrating what he has learned about stretching his legs without bearing weight on the left leg/hip. Z and J are trying it out, too. Dave calls it “the flamingo”!
We are often asked what we do all day. I have shown and discussed quite a few of the routine things we do. We have been so busy getting ready to “sail away” that we have not had a lot of “down time”. Now that our plans are “paused”, I thought I would show y’all what Z and J like to do sometimes...give me a fancy new hairdo! What do you think?
We have the usual jobs to do...meals, washing dishes, cleaning the galley and cabins, sweeping the salon and hulls with a 12 volt DustBuster, etc. Very necessary, mundane activities. Added to these jobs, we have the boat-related jobs...keeping the water tank filled, running the engines regularly, drying out everything that got wet in the rain, etc., etc., etc.
Add in time for home schooling on Monday through Friday and the days seem to fly by. We are using our “extra” time at the dock to refine some of the ways we are using storage space and rethinking some of the choices we made...(for instance, we have all added some warmer clothing!). So, that is all part of what we do all day. Everyday is different!
Woke up this morning to the wind blowing NNE straight from our stern into the cockpit, but...there was no rain! The same wind that drove the rain into our cockpit was drying everything out! Morning was chilly, but compared to the middle of the USA, we have realized we are fortunate to have the temperatures we have. It could be (and many places actually are!) a lot worse!
After we finished school, we bundled up and headed off the boat for a few hours. We dropped Dito off to spend time with Dave. The ladies went to the mall at Vero Beach to have lunch and see “Mary Poppins”. After the movie, the sun was shining! The people who had been so cold, decided to have ice cream at the food court!
Dave had called and asked for Diet Dr. Pepper and more Vitamin M (M&Ms). He is fed at the facility, but seems to enjoy the homemade food and treats we bring, too.
His first day of physical therapy went well. He was happy that they started teaching him exercises for his injured leg/hip to prepare for weight bearing in a few weeks. The first facility only worked with his upper body and good leg. Dave is definitely feeling stronger!
The steady rain started falling at 0300 this morning. It is still raining 16 hours later...and the forecast is for more rain until 0600 tomorrow morning. The good news is it is dry and “warmish” inside the boat. Winds were varying all day between 15-25 knots. Right now, our anemometer shows 32 knots. We are tied to the dock, but the boat is moving a lot.
The first photo shows Dito lowering one end of the dinghy to allow the accumulation of rainwater to drain out (he lifted the cap off the built-in drain hole and the water drains out there). This photo also shows the sky to the north (the direction from which the wind and rain are coming).
The second photo is a close-up of the water draining. We drain the rainwater because the extra weight of the rainwater in the dinghy puts extra stress on the davits.
The third photo caught my eye, because one of these birds sitting along the dock in the rain is definitely NOT like the others! First time we have seen an ibis sitting there!
Dave is doing well. He will start his new physical therapy and occupational therapy schedule tomorrow.
More north wind and rain showers off and on in the afternoon...more wearing fleece jackets and hats today!
Our water tank was empty, so between rain showers, Dito and Z filled the tank. The white hose is used only for potable water. Dito attached it to the faucet on the dock. They let the water run for a few minutes to clean out the hose, then Z put the nozzle of the hose into the opening in the foredeck that goes to the water tank. The top to this opening screws down flush with the deck.
Dave moved to the different facility today. This one is privately owned. He was evaluated by occupational therapy today. Physical therapy will do their evaluation on Monday. The physical rehabilitation program at this facility is considered “advanced”. Dave will have sessions Mon.-Sat. The therapist he saw said he would recommend 4 weeks of therapy. We are grateful for that, because four more weeks will be the end of the six weeks of no weight bearing. The orthopedic surgeon said he expected to see signs of healing by then.
We had a pizza party tonight! We decided two days ago to bring Dave pizza on Friday, but as of today, we called it a “celebration”. Dave was told today that arrangements had been made to move him to an “advanced” physical therapy center tomorrow. We are very grateful the caseworker found a place right here in Ft. Pierce, about 6 minutes drive from where he is now. We do not know how long he will be in the second facility. Hope to get more information tomorrow.
The north wind returned today, so once again it was time to pull out all those layers of clothing before we went out to Walmart and Aldi. We did all that provisioning in preparation for leaving, and now, we are sitting here eating the food we planned to eat “out there”! We keep a running list of the provisions we are using. That way we know exactly what has to be replaced when we go shopping. The plan is to replace what we are using and be fully provisioned when the time does come to leave.
Dave got his 10-day evaluation results from physical and occupational therapy yesterday. He has shown excellent improvement in strength and balance. If we lived near-by, we think he would be sent home to continue outpatient physical therapy. Because he lives here on a boat right now, the case worker said they are trying to find a place for him in an “advanced physics therapy” facility in this area. He will continue doing non-weight bearing exercises for at least 4 more weeks.
We go visit Dave everyday after 3:30 p.m. (when visitor’s hours begin). The picture tells the story ...Dave spends his days out of bed in a wheelchair. He was eating his supper. Dito was reading. Sarah and I were sitting in two chairs looking at our phones. The girls were making “pizza” and “little people” out of Baba’s exercise putty.
The bright pink putty and yellow exercise band are the main strengthening tools Dave has used. He will be able to continue using them when he gets back to the boat.
It was blowing hard all morning, then a small squall (rain shower) came through. After that, the wind immediately dropped off. As I write this tonight, it is absolutely silent...no wind at all...no sound at all!
I walked around the marina area in the afternoon looking for views I have not shared before. This is the front (or street view) of the yellow marina building. The main office, a gift shop, showers and restrooms (for marina residents only), and a fully equipped kitchen (also for marina residents only) are located in this building.
The second photo is a view of another section of the marina to the north of the yellow building. We are in a section of the marina located to the east of the building.
The last photo shows the security gate we go through to get to our boat. You can see A dock stretching out a long ways eastward. At the end of this part of the dock, the dock makes a 90 degree turn and goes on for a long ways to the north. EXIT ONLY is located on the northern part of A dock. It is a bit of a walk, but is also good exercise!
The memorable “very cold” day yesterday ended with the north wind veering more N of E and temperatures warming up a tad. The sunset was dramatic!
In the night, I could feel the boat pulling differently on the dock lines. The wind was howling through the rigging on all the boats in the marina. By this morning, the wind had moved and was coming straight onshore from the east. The temperature was definitely warmer. I was so happy about the warmth that I did not complain about the wind blowing 20-25 knots, gusting higher...it blew all day and is still blowing as I write. It was blowing so hard that the green herons were not “fishing” off the dock lines like they usually do.
The last picture was taken at a stoplight on our way to the boat after visiting Dave today. What a difference a day makes!
The north wind started blowing during the night and it was cold! It was 40 degrees when I woke up this morning. The boat was moving on the dock lines in the 20-25+ knot wind. (A knot = 1.151 miles per hour.).
We have enough bedding in the cabins to keep everyone warm and cozy through the night. The real challenge when it is cold, is getting out of that warm bunk! It can be slow going!
We dressed in layers and drank hot chocolate, tea, or coffee. We did do 2 hours of school with the girls. Our hands and feet were cold, but we made it! After that we decided to get off the boat and do errands in Vero Beach (17 miles north of Ft. Pierce)...inside warm buildings!
The first picture shows how warmly dressed everyone was. We only have limited warm clothing on board, because we are supposed to be headed to the Tropics. I did not have any shoes I could wear with socks, so you can see the ones I bought (and put on immediately) today. They are much warmer than sandals or boat shoes.
Stopped to see Dave on our way back to the boat. He is doing well, as you can see. Today they worked with him a lot on core strength and balancing on one good leg while standing to do something. He is doing 3 hours of physical and occupational therapy each day.
Remember the “Peacock Crossing” sign? We always try to drive on Orange Avenue when we can, so we can look for peacocks.
This weekend we were driving on Orange Avenue. It was dusk and we were on our way back to the boat after visiting Dave. There were peacocks and peahens walking down the sidewalk and crossing the street. We wondered why there was so much action. Where were they going? Now, we know...it was time to sleep! Where do they sleep? Up in trees! It makes me smile to see these birds so up close and personal!
Dave continues to do this physical therapy exercises. There are no formal sessions on Sunday, so he did his own workout. He is feeling good!
Dito took pictures when he went up the mast to check some of the gear yesterday. He also checked the foresail (front sail) that opens and closes with the roller furler (it makes the sail wrap around the forestay...the wire from the front of the mast to the bow of the boat that keeps the mast from falling backwards). He carried the pictures to the physical therapy center to show them to Dave last night. While studying the pictures, they were able to determine something at the top of the mast needed to be checked again and the foresail needed to be hoisted higher up, too.
There was a very light breeze blowing this morning, so Dito sent his drone up to the top of the mast to show him the exact area he planned to work on up there. The next picture shows a view of EXIT ONLY’s deck below Dito from the top of the mast. The work up there is finished now.
Later in the day, Dito inflated his fold-up paddle board and took the girls for a ride near our boat on A dock.
Dave had 3 hours of physical therapy today. He said they worked mostly on balancing on his good leg while holding on to the walker with one hand and moving objects with the other hand. I think it was harder to do than he thought it would be. He is really impressed with the physical and occupational therapists he has worked with and he feels they do their jobs really well.
Today dawned sunny and bright, with a very light wind blowing, and it was warmer! After school was done, we all pitched in and helped wash the cockpit and the foredeck of the boat. The warm sunshine made us happy to be outside cleaning up the boat. You can see the boat girls were swabbing the deck!
We all visited Dave after lunch. We took Dave some M&M “vitamins” to give him a boost! He was showing us resistance bands he had used in the physical therapy sessions today. He is working hard! Everyone started talking about exercises and balance, and arm strength, etc. The picture shows you how everybody except Baba and Gaga jumped up and started exercising!
The marina said we can stay another month...until 19 February!!! Yea!!! The lady at the marina office called to tell us the decision. She said, “Let us know if we can do anything else”. I told her, “Y’all already did what we needed! Thank you!”
Dave had his first physical therapy sessions today. From what he told us, it sounds the like the physical therapists are trying to strengthen his core and arms to help support his right leg (the good leg) when he is using a walker. He was also squeezing green putty several different ways to strengthen his hands and fingers.
The girls wrote about Baba moving to the rehabilitation hospital in their daily journals. Each day during their school session, Z and J write about what is currently happening in their lives. They add an illustration below their writing.
Busy day today. School was first thing on the agenda. We did a shortened version of school, because today is also Story Time at the local library (right on the plaza with the palm trees). The theme of the stories today was “snow”. There are a lot of people who come to Florida to get away from the snow back home. Surprisingly, there is still a lot of talk about snow.
The kids’ activities today included “making snow” by mixing baking soda and shaving cream. Once the proper proportions of the two ingredients were achieved, it was possible to form a “sort-of snowball”. It surprised me how cold the mixture felt!
Another activity was putting glue on pre-cut snowflakes, then laying them in a plate full of glitter. The third activity was a “snow storm” made of shredded paper the librarian has been saving for months! The kids really got into it...throwing it at each other, then laying on the floor and making “snow angels” (or should we say “shredded paper angels”)! By the end of the session, everyone, including the adults, had shredded paper in their hair and on their clothes. We had to brush it all off before leaving the kids’ room to enter the main library.
After lunch, we headed for the Rehabilitation Center. Dave had called and told us they moved him over there from the hospital about 12:45. Dito was with him and they let Dito ride in the ambulance with his dad. .
We did not stay too long at the rehab center, because so many people were coming to the room to take care of the admitting procedures and paperwork for their facility., Lots and lots of papers to sign, etc. “Boot Camp” (that is their name for the rehab center) starts tomorrow!
Sarah and I did school with the girls this morning while Dito went to the hospital to be with his dad. Dito returned for lunch on the boat, then we all returned to the hospital together. We were quite surprised when we got to Dave’s room to see him standing with a walker and a physical therapist holding on to a belt around Dave’s waist. He was standing on his good right leg and holding his left foot off the floor. He is not supposed to put weight on that left hip/leg for 6 weeks.
The people from the physical therapy department were there to evaluate Dave’s injury and possible response to rehabilitation. They told him in order to be admitted to the rehabilitation facility, he had to be able to do 3 hours of therapy each day. Evidently, he passed their test. They told him they would be transferring him to the rehabilitation facility tomorrow. The facility is run by the hospital company and is located a very short distance away.
This hospital is a level 2 Trauma center and needs their trauma beds for more serious trauma cases. It is good news that Dave is moving on from there. He is very happy about the move.
Dito and I waited with Dave from 7:00 a.m. to 3:15 p.m. to see the orthopedic doctor. Today was his surgery day, so we expected a long wait. While we waited, they did move Dave from the ER to a room on the trauma floor. When the doctor did come to the room, the bad news was the hip socket was “cracked”. The good news was he did not say “fractured”. More good news was that he called it “light damage” and said it would heal by itself...no surgery needed! However, Dave cannot put weight on that hip/leg for 6 weeks. That definitely means he will not be returning to the boat for awhile.
Dave will be in the hospital at least one more day while things are sorted out, and physical therapy will come by to assess the injury and prescribe treatment. We will have to make a plan. We are working on it...
I am writing from the Ft. Pierce, FL, Lawnwood Regional Medical Center. Dave fell on the dock about 9:45 p.m. last night. His foot caught on a dock line while he was getting off the boat onto the dock. A CT scan showed cracks in the left hip socket. That is all we know right now. Dito and I are here with Dave (he is still in one of the ER rooms, because this hospital is so busy there is no room for him on the trauma floor yet.). We are waiting to talk to the orthopedic doctor to come check on Dave and tell us what the plan is.
Y’all probably had an idea what pictures would be featured today! All those groceries from last night had to be unloaded from the car and loaded into the blue wagon and a marina cart. The carts were heavily-loaded, but Sarah and I managed to pull them out to the boat on A dock. I may not be doing Jazzercise (and I do miss it!), but I am getting my exercise! The groceries made it on board the usual way...everyone helped.
You see Sarah and I down in the galley preparing everything for storage. She is cleverly coaxing each item inside the pantry into its special place...the one that makes the best use of the space available. Meanwhile, I am labeling cans, putting the amount of potato flakes we use for one meal into Ziplock bags, putting hot chocolate mix from a big can into individual servings in small bags, making a master list of supplies, so we can know what is located in each storage space. We try to think ahead so we do not have to open a large can of hot chocolate mix to have a hot drink on a passage while the boat is bouncing. Grabbing an individual portion of hot chocolate mix and pouring hot water from a prepared thermos of hot water makes having a hot drink while on watch at night easy to do without stress or making a mess.
Really tired tonight, but feeling good about how much we have done! This week is going to fly by!
As the sun was setting, Sarah and I left the boat to face The Challenge (otherwise known as “the big provisioning”)....we went to Walmart to buy just enough food and other supplies to fill the spaces still open in the storage areas. Two hours later, we pushed two full trollies to the check out lane. One by one everything went into bags, the bags were put back in the trollies, and the trollies were pushed to the parking lot where everything disappeared into the back of the car.
Back at the marina, we left everything in the car and plan to unload it all in the morning. It will be easier to face the “bigger challenge”: of putting it all away in places where we can find it again! Seriously, we do keep a running list of what is on the boat and what storage area it is located in.
The big shopping trip is a sure sign we are getting closer to leaving. We will do one smaller shopping trip right before we leave for perishables...fruits and vegetables, bread, etc. Doing the “small provisioning” means our departure is imminent.
We left our Costco purchases in the car last night, so first thing this morning, we went to unload the car. As we unloaded the groceries from the back of the van, we removed the packaging, flattened the cardboard, and put small items together in Ziplock bags. Those bags went into canvas boat bags. We filled our blue wagon plus one of the marina carts with all our “stuff”.
Back at the boat, the crew formed a chain and passed everything from the dock to the boat. There is no picture of the next step...me labeling the cans and adding the information to the list of what is where in the galley while Sarah put the food away.
The water make did arrive today. Will show pictures of that set up another day.
North wind came in last night after the beautiful sunset took the warmer weather with it. I have been wearing warm layers all day. Sun is warm...wind is cold!
More jobs ticked off The List today...Dave was back at the electrical control panel running wires to the new inverter. This will be used to run electrical current to the computers at the navigation station. Dito was down in the starboard hull working on the other end of the same wires to the 12-volt system.
Sarah and I went through everything in the galley, checking the galley equipment on board as well as the food already stored in the pantry. Each thing has to earn its space! We rearranged some things, threw away some things, and made a list to get more of some things.
With our provisioning list in hand, we put Z and J in the car and drove 52 miles to the nearest Costco at Palm Beach, FL.. We had supper there to fortify ourselves for the “big shop”, then celebrated getting the shopping done with frozen yoghurt before we left to drive back to Ft. Pierce. Long day, but got a lot done!
Lots of things going on...girls had school, then they went with
Sarah to the story time at the library...Dave worked on doing some personal business that needs to get done before we leave...I prepared lunch, Dito was working on making colorful fish for our bow graphic.
Most cruising boats have a distinctive graphic on the bow or bows (one hull or two hulls) of their boat. We will say something like, “We are on EXIT ONLY, the cat (catamaran) with the school of fish on the bows.” Most people have their graphic designed at a sign shop. We decided we wanted a fish that was based on an arrowhead shape, so Dito designed it. Right now there is one large yellow fish on the outside and inside of the bow of each hull. This is the design we had on the bows when we circumnavigated. This time, the crew voted for more fish, so Dito has been making more fish that are different colors and sizes. He uses special adhesive paper and the fish will be applied to make a design on the outside of our bows.
I was holding the adhesive-backed paper flat (it tended to want to roll up) while Dito was cutting out the shapes. I will show the completed graphic after it goes on the hull.
The extremely colorful picture is the new snorkeling equipment Dave and I purchased today. It is laying on a colorful tablecloth on the cockpit table. We bought masks, snorkels, and I got dive booties for warmth and stability when I walk on wet rocks. That large fishing lure is supposed to look like a mackerel. We do like to catch mahi-mahi, but there is more “fishing talk” this year...Spanish Mackerel,..Red Snapper...We will see...
We had a reality check today...we came from the boatyard to the marina 19 December. We paid a reasonable fee to stay here for 1 month...until 19 January. Paying by the day is much more expensive. We need to be ready to move this boat by 19 January...maybe the 18th... (allowing a little leeway for weather). We can do it if we stay focused just a tad longer.
The List is much shorter these days, but there is still enough to keep everyone busy. I got help from J with the laundry. She pulled the wagon all the way from the boat to the marina building.
Added a picture Dito took of Z fishing off the boat last night. We are all waiting to see how it goes when she really catches her first fish!
We are very aware of the days passing by. We all are ordering from Amazon...headlamps, school supplies, an inverter for the boat, a guide book to the Galapagos ...many varied things at sort of the “last minute”. Once the packages arrive at the marina, we pack them up. Here is today’s collection packed into the blue wagon.
Upon arrival at the boat, packages are passed onto the boat, then stacked on the table. Now, the fun begins! Two of our crew are named “David Abbott”, so we have to open the packages to see who the order belongs to. Once the boxes are empty, we break them down and get all of cardboard off the boat. High humidity makes cardboard go “soft “ and cardboard can provide hiding places for bugs.
Dito surprised everyone this morning by going to Dixie Donuts and having “breakfast” on the table when we got up. Look what he got for me! I love cinnamon rolls, but I never saw one this big! Deeelicious! I did share!
Dito, Sarah, Z, and J went to Disney World today. It is about a two-hour drive from here. It was a day full of fun and surprises for the girls. I do not think they knew what to expect when they left.
Back at the boat, Dave and I continued to work on the “jumble”. He worked on his personal stuff and the navigation station (desk). I was determined to get done sorting the jumble in the aft port cabin where my stuff is stored. I was pulling out some things I do not want on the boat and boxing them up. The boxes will go in Dito;s car when it goes back to Kentucky. The domino effect kicked in. I took the office supplies out of the cabin, then had to put the items in the appropriate storage box in the starboard hull, then had to redo those boxes to fit it all in. I ended up reorganizing these smaller storage boxes because I was cleaning out the cabin! I repeated that scenario all day! I am happy to report the sorting and packing is done!
Dave and Dito tackled a job today that has been on The List since last year’s refit...removing copper tubing and wires that originally went to the freezer.
On our circumnavigation many years ago, we chose to use the freezer space for dry storage and not to run a freezer. Dave knew the unused copper tubing was interwoven with the live wires of our present electrical system. He wanted the unused stuff removed. The pictures show the open control panel by the navigation table, Dito working under the floor boards in the starboard hull, and a bucket full of the copper tubes that were removed. Dave says our electrical system is safer now that the copper has been removed. Big job...done!
We all left for Ft. Lauderdale around 0900 this morning. Takes 2+ hours to drive there. On the way, Dave called the water maker rep (in Ft. Lauderdale) to tell him we were ready to buy a water maker. The rep said a shipment was coming in next Wed. And he would ship one to us in Ft. Pierce next Thursday. One more job done.
Meanwhile, while traveling south, I was in the back seat editing the blog posts I have written since 12 December 2018. You can see me at the restaurant table finishing editing while we wait for the lunch we ordered. Sarah will download my blog posts and put them onto my blog on maxingout.com.
Lunch arrived! What was it? Pizza and salad. Six of us ate the whole thing!
After lunch, we went to Bluewater Books to purchase electronic nautical charts (maps). We also have paper charts that we used on our circumnavigation. Looked at paper chart booklets, too, Shopped for emergency flares and an EPIRB (Emergency Position Indicating Radio Beacon). We always carry these items in our Go Bag (emergency bag that is always ready for us to grab it and go)...if the occasion arises. Thankfully, we have never needed to do use it. That is a good thing!
More jobs were done today...more clean lockers, more stuff sorted, water tank filled (from the hose at the dock...potable water), Amazon orders arrived, shopping for boat parts, etc., etc., etc.
School has been going well with both girls. Sarah works with Zoe, Grade 2. I work with Joss, Pre Kdg/Kdg. Both girls are doing well. J has been learning sight words and completed her first of the Bob Books this week. She is so excited to be reading. She told us, “I can read now and you cannot stop me!” Believe me...nobody wants to stop her from reading!
Another workday on EXIT ONLY! The List IS getting shorter. We are going through every shelf, bin, drawer, and locker on the boat. Everything comes out, is assessed, then decisions are made as to what things go back in and go with us...and what does not go.
Dave shared his pic for the New Year so I could send it. He also was trying to convince Z and J that the winch covers were fashionable hats! I think they are humoring Baba! The other picture shows testing the hypalon patches that were put on the dinghy a week ago. The dinghy is hanging better on the davits, so they have decided the patches are a success!
Happy New Year to everyone! My cousin and her son came to see us...and the boat...today. We had a nice lunch and visit with them! I mostly took family pics today, but I did find some pics to share...of the marina as well as documentation of a surprise visit from a manatee this morning, 01 Jan. I think that manatee started my year off right! Now, it is up to me to keep looking for those “surprises” around me everyday.
Another day of warm, sunny weather today. Perfect for getting more jobs done.
If you are wondering how Dito edits all those fun videos, well, here is a “behind the scene look” at his “team of consultants”. Everyone has ideas to share!
Zoe and I are packaging the powdered milk into small bags. The amount of powdered milk is perfect for the containers of water we use to “make milk”. We use Long Life milk when we can find it, but carry powdered milk for our backup. We also use the powdered milk for making yoghurt and cooking.
We woke up this morning to fog over the marina. The sun soon baked it off! Dave and Zoe worked together painting the wooden holder that holds the windsurfer on the deck. I worked sorting out the jumble in the aft port cabin.
When we go different places, we always like to try out local foods people recommend. Two of our discoveries in Ft. Pierce include the kids decorating cupcakes at the library program for kids yesterday, and we discovered Dixie Donuts, made right here in town. Really good!
Today was shopping day. Started with French pastries and fresh veggies from the Saturday Market in the plaza. Next, the kids wanted to ride the town trolley. They heard it was free on Sat. So, we waited…and waited…and finally it came. Sarah, Z, J, and I boarded (we were the only passengers). Route on Sat is a two-block square through the parking areas for the Market. You can see from the pictures…the girls loved it. Because they did, I did!
Back at the plaza , we got in our car and went to Dollar Tree (we buy our Long Life milk there by the case) and Walmart. Back at the marina, we unloaded our purchases into one of the marina carts. They provide the carts for us to use to carry things out to our boats at the dock.
Today was laundry day, I volunteered to go. The coin laundry area is located at the marina in the main building. Dito and Sarah bought the blue fold-up wagon. We use it for everything! Fortunately, no one was using the washers and dryers, so laundry for six? No problem!
The view from the laundry is very nice, isn’t it? Not bad to look at while doing such a routine job, There is a table under the windows and I was using it to recycle some of the schoolbooks J has finished. I will make flashcards for phonics practice…beginning sounds, ending sounds, etc.
Meanwhile, everyone else was working on through-hulls (pvc tubes that go from something inside the hull to outside the hull), refinishing the wooden ends of the poles we use to hold our foresails out when we go downwind, and packaging more food for the boat (we remove all cardboard and put the food in closed containers or Ziplock bags). Always something to do!
Another work day, ticking off the items on The List. In the morning we did school while Dave and Dito spent more time trying to connect with someone on the ham radio…a little progress, but not enough.
Electronics are great, but working on them can be frustrating. Dave and Dito are still working on the ham radio set up. Dito’s computer is having a problem, so the four of them took it to the “Apple Doctor” in Palm Beach this afternoon.
While they were gone, Dave and I attacked the jumble in the salon and cockpit. Both areas need more attention, but we made significant progress. Not an exciting report, but good things are happening!
J and Z found another Florida “snowman” made of buoys at West Marine. Z thought she saw another one in the balls of painter’s tape taken off after painting the bottom of the boat. Mmmmm?
Today we had school first thing in the morning (trying to get some sort of routine going here…gotta start again sometime!). Went well, After the lunch Sarah prepared, I cleaned up the galley while Sarah took the kids shopping and to the park/beach. Look what J found at the beach…Florida style!
The other picture shows a close-up of the hypalon patch Dave and Dito put on the dinghy. The placement of the patch will give better balance when we pull the dinghy up on the davits (arms going off the aft (back) ) of the boat to hold the dinghy out of the water. We pull our dinghy out of the water every night…no matter what, no matter where…we pull it out of the water. That makes it much more secure. The patch adhesive is supposed to be fully dry in one week. (!) (?) Will report the results next week.
Merry Christmas to everyone from EXIT ONLY!! Here we are in front of EXIT ONLY in the sling before she splashed. Also, a pic of our miniature tree with miniature presents underneath!
No problem ... Santa found our boat, The 2 miniature boat girls are happy, too! All of us are grateful to be here. Hope y’all are having a blessed happy day!
Remember the Sat Market in the plaza by the marina? Well, every night from the end of Nov to early Jan there are lights on the plaza palm trees “dancing” or flashing while Christmas music plays for 3-4 hours in the evenings..People gather there every night to enjoy the music. We can hear the music from the boat! Very festive!!
Back at EXIT ONLY, the big project was installing the new radios. We depend on our SSB (single side band) radio for communication and weather information.
Thought I would share some picture of some of our neighbors. A line of sea gulls spends the whole day sitting there. If I do not meet their eyes, they do not even fly away when I walk by! If I look at them, they all fly away! Pelicans are kind of ungainly, but this pic makes this one look graceful. I think they have very powerful wings.
The street sign is common in one area of Ft. Pierce where a lot of peacocks live. We go down Orange Ave whenever we can just to look fo the peacocks. Locals tell us the peacocks and peahens have lived here for a long time. Sometimes, we have to stop and let them cross the street…like quail in Arizona !
Every Saturday morning a market is held in the plaza area outside the locked gate to A dock. We look forward to going there early Saturday mornings. Those white bags in our hands might give you a clue as to which booth is our favorite…the French Bakery!
The boat work continues…the windmill is showing some improvement, the dinghy got pumped up, some electrical work in the port engine room was completed, we shopped for some needed parts before the stores close for Christmas, sent an order to Amazon, and more general cleaning and organizing. Time to make serious decisions…what stays...what goes. There is only so much room!
Looking out over the marina, there is EXIT ONLY in the middle of the picture…”out there” on A Dock with a moonrise in the sky.
The guys have been working off and on with one of the wind generators that is not spinning properly. In one of the pictures, the generator hub and blades on the port (left) side aft (rear) are installed. The generator on the starboard (right) (aft) is not there in this picture. In the other picture, Dito is lifting the starboard hub and blades onto the starboard aft pole. These generators were refurbished last year. Since that time, one worked very well and the other not-so-much.
Dave thought maybe an imbalance of the 6 blades inserted into the hubs caused the problem., so they took the blades to the post office (located in a Cuban restaurant) to weigh them on a digital scale. They were all very similar in weight. It was getting dark, so they willl finish tomorrow.
We officially moved out of the condo today, so all our stuff is now on board…a bit of a jumble right now! The weather made moving things challenging…sun, pouring rain, cold north wind, cold us…repeat...all day long!
Sea trials for the engines took place at the dock today. The winds were in the high 20’s, gusting into the 30’s. It rained hard off and on all day. The pics show the dramatic storm clouds over the marina.
The man who installed the engines came to install some gauges. He ran each engine through its paces right at the dock. He said everything was fine! I think everyone was happy not to go out into 30 knots per hour winds in the pouring rain. Not a nice day to be “out there”.
The “Splash” went very well today! The lift smoothy carried EXIT ONLY in a sling from the dry boatyard to the water. Once the boat was poised above the water, they lowered the sling, unhooked it, and the boat was held in place by ropes. Five members of the crew got on board the boat and started the engines, began lifting the fenders up and onto the deck and pulling the ropes on board. I kept taking pictures from shore while the boat backed out into the main channel. My job was to drive the car from the boatyard to the Ft. Pierce City Marina in downtown Ft. Pierce (a distanced of maybe four miles). You can see the picture I took of EXIT ONLY as she approached the dock at City Marina.
We all were SO happy and relieved to be back in the water! Weeks ago the marina said we could stay at the dock 2 days (“Busy season”, they said). Four days ago they said we could stay 3 days. (We will take it!). Today, when Dave went to the office to pay, they said we could stay one month! (Really??? Thank You!!!). We will have time to finish a short list of things we have left to do. Nice having the pressure off.
Tomorrow is Sea Trial Day. This is a short trip out from shore to check out the new engines with the man who installed them. We are staying in the condo until Friday morning because while Dave and Dito go offshore on sea trials, the rest of the crew will stay on shore.
The painting is done! We got 3 coats from 5 cans of paint. Sarah took Dito’s picture in front of the boat when she picked them up (hopefully the boat’s last night in the boatyard). I was back at the condo preparing supper.
Back at the condo, after supper it was time to get out the gingerbread house kits. In the middle of all the boat “stuff”, we are not going to miss out on a Christmas! There are two junior members of the crew who are counting on us to make it happen.
So, tomorrow is THE DAY we have been looking forward for a long time! Splash Day is almost here…10:00 a.m. EST tomorrow
Sunny day…no rain…perfect day for painting! Dave used the water blaster to clean off the dust from the hull. Next, the whole area was gone over by hand to make sure the surface is clean and smooth.
Finally…it is time to roll on the new bottom paint. Looks like there will be enough paint for 3 coats of paint. Each layer has to dry four hours before the next one can be applied. The third coat will go on tomorrow. Two days until “splash day”!
The sanding was easily finished this morning. The next step of prepping the hull for painting was pressure washing the bottom to remove all of the hard-to-see blue dust generated by the sander. You can see Z and J got in on that water action (it was 80 degrees here!).
Now, you can see the NEW paint..This paint is supposed to be more effective because it has 60% copper in it. The old paint had 40% copper in it. Splash Day is coming…3 more days! P.S. Yes, Dave’s mustache is blue from using the sander!
Today they finished scraping the places where barnacles had attached to the hull. There is Dave on the ground scraping the bottom of the keel. The close-up of the barnacles shows exactly what they have been removing.
Once the barnacles are removed, the old bottom paint has to be sanded to remove the small remaining pieces of the barnacles and to smooth the whole surface. Two hulls = 4 sides, each 39’ long = 156’ of surface to be scraped and sanded. Maybe tomorrow I can show you pictures of the new replacement paint the paint company rep left at the marina office with “For Abbott/Exit Only” written on it.
Dave and I made it to Florida! Two pictures show Sarah, Z, and J at the Manatee Center near the library (and the marina we will take the boat to) in downtown Ft. Pierce. We saw several live manatees, too! We went there while Dave and Dito went to Home Depot to get supplies to redo the bottom paint after the barnacles are removed.
The other picture shows the work crew poised to eradicate those pesky barnacles! My job was to take the girls to the park playground. All hands on deck! Four work days left before the boat goes in the water on the 19th.
You know how life can throw you a curve ball? Well, we caught quite a curveball last summer. On 20 June 2018, Dave and I left to drive our two vehicles back home from Florida. The majority of boat preparation was done and we were getting close to our departure date. We arrived safely 4-1/2 days later. We already had plane tickets to return to the boat 05 July 2018. We were looking forward to 10 days at home...reconnecting with friends, taking care of some business, etc. It was a busy, fun time that passed all too quickly. We woke up early on 05 July...and Dave was too sick to go to the airport. We went to the hospital ER instead!
Long story short, Dave was admitted to the hospital for the first of three times in the next few weeks. He had the first of four procedures done that day! His gall bladder had shut down. Very long story short, Dave had four procedures before he was on the way back to good health. Dito, Sarah, Zoe, and Joss returned home while the doctors were figuring out how to deal with Dave's health problems. When we all realized this unexpected pause was going to take awhile, Dito returned to Florida and, with a friend's help, moved EXIT ONLY from the slip at the marina dock back to the boatyard into storage...again.
We have all made the most of the last 5 months and 3 weeks! Dito, Sarah, and the girls drove down to Florida and arrived at the boat today (12 Dec). We are all grateful Dave is healthy and strong again! He and I are flying to Florida tomorrow (13 Dec). The crew of EXIT ONLY is ready to go! We are truly grateful to have the possibility of sailing together again.
The boat was almost ready to leave Florida back in July, so we do not have a lot of jobs on The List to do now. We immediately have to redo the bottom paint job. When they lifted the boat out of the water in July, Dito and everyone else could not believe how many barnacles were covering the bottom! We contacted West Marine and they contacted the manufacturer, Petit Paint. Another long story short, the Petit Paint representative for Florida has been in touch with us and they are going to replace our paint and upgrade it! We are very grateful for their attention and their willingness to help us with our problem. Since our "splash day”is 19 December, we will hit the ground running...or should I say, they will hit the boatyard ready to do scraping, sanding, washing, and painting as soon as we can start on Friday, the 14th!